Democracy Forum 9/18/20: Who Votes, Who Can’t, and Who Won’t?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Who Votes, Who Can’t, and Who Won’t?

We talk about voter participation in marginalized communities
Structural/ systemic/ institutional barriers to voting, and motivational barriers to voting.

Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador

Michael Kebede, Policy Counsel, ACLU of Maine

Chryl Laird, Assistant Professor of Government at Bowdoin College

To learn more about this topic:

How Shelby County v. Holder Broke America, Vann R. Newkirk II, The Atlantic, July 2018
America’s Relentless Suppression of Black Voters, Lawrence Goldstone, The New Republic, October 2018.
Young Black Americans not sold on Biden, the Democrats or voting, David C. Barker and Sam Fulwood III, The Conversation, August 2020
Systematic Inequality and American Democracy, Danyelle Solomon, Connor Maxwell, and Abril Castro, Center for American Progress, August 2019
Why So Many Black Voters Are Democrats, Even When They Aren’t Liberal, Cheryl N. Laird, Ismail K. White, FiveThirtyEight, February 2020
Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior, Cheryl N. Laird, Ismail K. White, February 2020
Maine: State of our Democracy, a report from the League of Women Voters of Maine, April 2020.
FRRC is one of several nonprofits that are raising money to help returning citizens pay fines and fees in Florida, as mentioned on the show.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond, 2016

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Martha Dickinson, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturdevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.